Report: Fallout from Fukushima coincides with spike in Boise infant mortality rate

Thursday, January 26, 2012
By Paul Martin

By Mac King

The aftermath of the tsunami that ransacked the Japanese coast led to one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in the history of the world. Now, two researchers believe it may also have played some role in killing tens of thousands of Americans.

“[It’s] 155,000 deaths,” Joseph Mangano said, ”so we’re not talking about an increase from three to five deaths. We’re talking about quite a few.”

Mangano works at the Radiation and Public Health Project. The report he co-authored for a medical journal suggesting a link between Fukushima fallout and an increase in deaths in the United States has stirred up some controversy.

“The authors appeared to start at a conclusion,” Scientific American’s Michael Moyer wrote, “ – babies are dying because of Fukushima radiation – and work backwards, torturing their data to fit their claims.”

But Mangano said his critics miss the point.

“We have not stated conclusively that Fukushima fallout killed 22,000 Americans,” he said.

Instead, he and co-author Dr. Jannette Sherman cite numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly morbidity report. That data showed a large spike in deaths – particularly infant deaths – in the 14 weeks following the Fukushima meltdown.

“And the highest ones,” Mangano said, “were in Boise, Idaho.”

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